Say I do to writing your own vows!
When you sit down to compose the promises and words which will share your commitment with your loved one, it can be quiet daunting, but don’t panic… it doesn’t have to be as scary as you think!
First things first… think about your journey.
Consider your history and memories. You have so many stories to tell why not add them in when you have the one chance to share this in front of your friends and family.
This is a great example you may want to start with “From the moment our eyes met on Mumbles Pier in 2002, I knew you would hold my heart for all eternity. I promise to cherish and nurture your whole heart, keeping it safe and warm, through adventures and excitements, whilst we build our own family and until we grow old together.”
Your vows need to be true to each other and your journey, reflecting what this marriage means to you both. Your vows can be funny, or heart-felt, or both! You could include a reading or favourite poem, such as, “What’s Mickey without Minnie or Piglet without Pooh, what’s Donald without Daisy and what’s me without you!” Anon.
Think about your theme
You might find that the poem or reading will inspire a theme for your special day, such as ‘A Red Red Rose’ by Robert Burns. This is a beautiful choice if red roses are in your bouquet, decorate your top table, aisle or canopy that you are choosing to marry beneath. Look to readings and poems for phases that may add that extra personal touch to your vows.
How to start writing your wedding vows
If you are looking for simplicity, ‘I love you because…’ is a great line to start with, you can then share each other’s attributes with your family and friends gathered together to celebrate your union. ‘I love you because you opened the door to happiness for me…’ ‘I love you because you warm my feet on a cold night..’ ‘I love you because you always laugh at my rubbish jokes…’ ‘I love you because you let me go to the football every Saturday without complaining…’ said no Groom ever!
‘I love you because…’ is so personal and special to each couple you can make them poignant, romantic, funny and absolutely relevant to your relationship.
Then combine this with, ‘I promise..’ and you are off to a good start!
Personalised promises can seal the ceremony for you, you can make them more traditional if you wish. ‘I promise to love cherish and keep you safe for the whole of eternity…’ Or more utilitarian (and hilarious), ‘I promise to wash your socks and pants and let you watch the Kardashians…’
Do we need vows when we exchange rings as well?
This ritual is symbolic of eternity, rings have no beginning and no end and traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand over the Vena Amoris (or Love Vein). This swapping of rings dates to the ancient Egyptians when reeds were braided into circles to exchange during their marriage ceremonies.
Vows and promises are said during the extra of rings. If you are having a Celebrant Led wedding, your Celebrant can help you construct these. There is also a wealth of readings you can take inspiration from for this part of the proceedings, traditionally ‘With this ring I thee wed…’ but one of our favourite ones is called The Wedding Ring by Ron Tranmer and goes like this…
I placed a ring upon your hand,
and you placed one on mine..
The meaning of our wedding ring
we easily define:
It means we now are one,
in becoming man and wife.
It means total commitment,
forever in this life.
It means togetherness
in everything we do.
It means our love will ever be
pure, sincere and true,.
It means as man and wife,
we commit to do our part.
This little band, upon our hand;
Is a promise from each heart.
Keep Calm & Let’s Get Started
Now, this is where the fun begins, when you write your own vows you are limited only by your own imagination!
Jot down your relationship timeline, what do you want to include, what do you want to skip and what do you both mean to each other? What special memories do you want to include? What do you love most about each other and what promises do you want to make?
Final top tips
- Check in with your partner and see what they are thinking for length. Although it isn’t important to have the same length, it can look rather overshadowed if you partner has written 2 pages, and you just a short paragraph!
- Ask your Celebrant to look over them if you are unsure. Celebrants are storytellers and are there to help!
- Print them, don’t remember them. You don’t need the extra pressure on the day of reciting vows that you have learnt. Relax and read what you have written.
Now you have your own personal template to write the words which will frame your lifelong journey…destination unknown!
Blog written by Kathryn Britton, Member of The Celebrant Directory